Lebanon’s Middle East Airlines (MEA) has blamed the war in Syria for wiping out a revival in tourist flows that had built since the end of the country’s own conflicts, with first-quarter passenger numbers down 7%, Bloomberg has reported. The Beirut-headquartered carrier posted net income of $63m last year, up from the 2012 figure of $61.5m after a $14m one-time gain from plane sales, chairman Mohamad El-Hout said, warning that demand may drop further if tensions don’t ease. “We are surviving,” El Hout said. “We keep cash, control cost and believe in the future. We’re expecting to continue to make a profit this year but not as big as the years before. We are not expecting growth in passengers.”
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